Season’s greetings, by now your Holidays are in full swing spending time with, sending cards, buying gifts for family, friends, colleagues, and/or neighbors. Instead of a season of joy it can feel like a season of obligation, especially when spending time with folks whom well work your nerves. Most people’s internal monologue just takes off at maximum speed. Are you responding to invitations and inclinations from a place of joy and desire or from duty? How will you keep your boundaries intact, when you can’t avoid someone who pushes your buttons? How to survive and even thrive this season?
Here are 10 tips for enjoying the Holiday season with a greater sense of ease and joy.
- Be gentle with yourself and others. There is no perfection in when family dynamics are involved. I have to remind myself of this every year.
- Say No. Prioritize the social, business and other events on your calendar. There is no hard and fast rule that all the celebrating and well wishing must be done before Dec. 31. You can bring over into the New Year if you wish.
- Gratitude and giving back. Doing something for someone else, like collecting coats for people in need, volunteering your time and talents at a nursing facility can help keep things in perspective. That can be just thing when the holidays start to rub you the wrong way and heck might just set the tone for how you operate in the year to come.
- Take a time out. If your buttons are pushed, step away, firmly, politely. You can say along the lines of: “I am not able to continue this conversation right now, so I am going to excuse myself.” If you have never done this before, it get’s easier after the first time.
- Hydrate, and not just with adult beverages. Between the change in weather, heating winter air is drier, which impact hydration so to does the amount of sugar we eat. Dehydration can make you cranky and frankly ill. So drink your fill of water each and every. Try adding one more glass to your normal intake.
- Timing. Decide ahead of time how long you will spend at an event. It is much easier to maintain boundaries after you have set them.
- Be impeccable with your word, meaning take the time to think before your speak. Taken from Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, this can be a real life saver. Consider do you mean what you are able to say? Will you regret it later?
- Simplify. Easier said than done, I know, but try. Cut down on the number of gifts exchanged and instead try to create some experiences and memories. When it comes to kids and families this can be a bit challenging, but one of best gifts my sister and her family received was a “game night”. A board game and two types of popcorn.
- Quality over quantity. Okay I have a sweet tooth and recommend you don’t get between me as a good piece of dark chocolate, and the key word here is “good”. Deciding that I am going to enjoy the bounty of the season I also decide ahead of time how much I’ll indulge and stick too it, making the indulgence even more delicious.
- Remember you are only responsible for yourself, your actions and reactions. You are not responsible someone else’s actions or reactions.